Bureau Veritas Publishes Guidance on Ammonia as Marine Fuel
Classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) has released an Ammonia-Prepared notation and has developed a Rule Note for ammonia as a marine fuel as more industry players continue to show interest in the cleaner-burning fuel on the path to shipping decarbonization.
The Ammonia-Prepared notation, developed in collaboration with different stakeholders including ship owners, equipment makers, designers and shipyards, is applicable to newbuilds and certifies that a ship has been designed and constructed to be converted to use ammonia as fuel at a later date. It targets the spaces and structural components that will accommodate future ammonia fuel tanks, fuel handling equipment and ammonia vapor treatment installations. Ammonia-Prepared also covers specific requirements for the conversion of engines and boilers from using fuel oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG) or multiple fuels to ammonia.
BVs, which recently issued an Ammonia-Prepared approval in principle to GTT related to containment of ammonia in membrane MARK III tanks, said Ammonia-Prepared is a prelude to a full Rule Note on ammonia as fuel: NR 671. It will primarily concern the safety aspects of managing ammonia in storage tanks, fuel-piping systems and during bunkering.
Through the notation and guidelines, BV said it aims to help address the challenges of using ammonia in the shipping industry, including its lower energy density compared to other fuels—about half that of LNG and about a third of fuel oil; comparatively poor combustibility properties; and toxicity, requiring stringent measures to protect crew and/or passengers from exposure.
Laurent Leblanc, senior vice president technical and operations at Bureau Veritas, said, "Ammonia is considered a key fuel on the road to the IMO’s 2030 and 2050 GHG and carbon reduction targets. We are working to advance its safe development and are currently involved in joint industry projects to assess the risks of ammonia. The release of these new notations is a major step to help ship-owners, designers, shipyards and charterers make progress in their sustainability journeys and inform their future investments."